“One moment of pain is worth a lifetime of glory”(Louis Zamperini as qtd. in goodreads). Many people will read Unbroken and see a story ofa man who survived by power or knowledge which may be true, however, his survival is most likely because of the lessons he learned in his earlier life. Louis Zamperini was an intelligent and powerful man. The reason he was like that was because of his time living before his heroic incidents. Louis learned to be more compatible from his brother. He became physically fit after joining the track team to convert his energy for stealing, drinking, and partying into ositive things.
He gained great character traits from when his brother changed his whole persona and saving him from a down spiralling life of failure. Louis overcame fear by joining the military and finally flying in a plane, his lifelong fear. All of these helped him survive during his time of need. Young Louis Zamperini was in most of the time bad news. He was an upset kid and also very rebellious. He had a taste for alcohol and for fighting anyone who didn’t see eye to eye with him. The police always seemed to be chasing him for something but he would always find a way out of his trouble.
Back in those tough days of the Great Depression, his future looked pretty grim. “Louis Zamperini was born in Olean, New York, in 1917, the second of four children, and moved with his family to Torrance, California, in the 1920s”(Jacobs). Like many kids, he didn’t think about the consequences of his actions. He needed to find a change in heart before he was prepared for the traumatic experiment he was soon to encounter. These things proved to be a large problem for him, he didn’t have very strict or enforcing but he did have a brother who was somewhat concerned about Loius future in the world.
His brother was the one person he knew that really cared for him and he decided to try to change Louis for the better. Louis brother started talking to his brother and soon they became very close. Soon his brother Pete convinced Louis to stop drinking, then a little after that got him to start running and join the high school track team where he learned many positive character traits. Using his negative energy in a positive way he changed his downhill life into a pathway to glory. Throughout this Transformation he learned to honest and kind, always encouraging his track team.
He learned discipline rom his track coach who was always making Loius respect him”(Jacobs) said in his article. He never had to lie to his parents and brother about where he was going after school. He gained an identity a reason to live not just drinking and stealing from his local drug store. Now his persona was changed Louis had great characteristics that could help him in whatever he needed later on in life. These characteristics he gained from his brothers encouragement would prove to be worth gaining. In the book Unbroken Louis faces many challenges one being having discipline.
He used this while over one hundred men punched im in the face because a mean Prisoner of War camp leader forced the men to hit him in the face because Louis wasn’t respecting the commander. If Louis wasn’t disciplined he would have been killed by the leader of the Camp. Proving that Louis survival was because of the characteristics he learned in his earlier life Louis wasn’t always a smart or disciplined man. Louis didn’t only just gain good characteristic traits in his earlier life he also improved physically proving to be a high school running star.
In 1934, Zamperini set the national high school mile record, and his time of 4 minutes and 21. seconds would stand for an incredible 20 years. His track prowess also caught the attention of the University of Southern California, and he earned a scholarship to attendlt wasn’t long before Zamperini was taking his love of track to the next level, and in 1936 he headed to New York City for the 5,000-meter Olympic trials. Held on Randall’s Island, the race pitted Zamperini against Don Lash, the world record holder in the event.
The race ended in a dead heat between the two runners, and the finish was enough to qualify Zamperini for the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, while he was still a eenager” (Biography. com editors) Louis became an outstanding athlete he aimed for the coveted four minute mile training constantly to achieve his goal. He never quite reached the mile because the 1940 olympics were cancelled due to world war two but Louis was still in tip top shape when he entered the war because of his running training. Louis was drafted and soon after the war started.
When Louis was captured by the Japanese and put into the prisoner of war camps he was forced to work for hours and hours without nutrients and many men could not handle the amount of stress this put on their bodies. Many assed out or fainted then were looked at as unable to work in the japanese eyes. Which did the japanese no good so these men were most likely killed. Louis however was strong enough to continue to work therefore surviving in these camps until the Allied forces won the war. In a sense Zamperini only survived in the camps because of his brother and his earlier life helping him become in outstanding physical shape.
When Louis Zamperini joined the track team he was introduced into a “family” like environment that he was not used to. His teammates were kind and Louis soon learned to be kind and compatible back to them. Louis after his plane crash was stranded on a raft with the same two men for forty seven days (Hillenbrand). There are many accounts of men killing and being unable to work together in life or death situations. Costing them their lives. Louis on the other hand and the two other men that he was on the raft with (Mac and Phil) were able to work together as a team helping each other catch birds and fish.
One man standing still with food on them, then having birds land on them, having the other man snatch the bird giving the men food for up to five days. These teamwork characteristics and compatibility were learned by Louis after joining the track team in his earlier life. These skills also may have saved him his marriage when his wife wasn’t sure Louis was safe to be around his daughter after war but Louis then became kinder and smarter when his young daughter was around. Making his wife happy, saving his marriage.
Louis was normally a conservative kid not trying many new things or making many new friends unless they liked exactly the same things as him he had many fears. He never felt comfortable doing anything else other than what was normal for him. Which in his earlier life was alcohol and being a rebel. Soon he was ushed out of his comfort zone and encouraged to join the track team. Louis wasn’t sure at first but then decided to go for it. Louis always had one main fear and that was airplanes whether it was riding or driving one Louis was terrified.
He was forced to confront this fear when he was drafted to be a bombardier and a gunner in a plane. He overcame his fear and became an very skillful gunner and bomber for all the planes he was in. There were many incidents were Louis fought off other Japanese of German planes again saving his own life and others lives. He would have never been able to accomplish these things if he ouldn’t have started going out of his comfort zone when he was younger than learning to overcome his fear as life went on.
Louis survived throughout the war because of his ability to overcome fear that he learned in his earlier life. Louis zamperini survived because of many different things but just about all of them you can relate back to his earlier life. Although many people just look at his amazing story and see a strong, intelligent man then do not understand where he gained these traits. Louis was not always a well rounded character and you have to trace back to his roots to understand how he became he way he really was.
Louis became physically strong during his track career helping him survive in Prisoner of war camps. he became disciplined from his track team and coach helping him not act out and respect his commanders keeping him alive. He overcame his fears when joining the track team then later becoming involved with his fear of planes saving his life throughout war and others lives. Many people will read Unbroken and see a story of a man who survived by power or knowledge which may be true, however, his survival is most likely because of the lessons he learned in his earlier life.